Voting with Their Feet: Family Friendliness and Parent Employment in Australian Industries, 1981-2001
Broom, D H
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Most Australian industries have instigated some family-friendly provisions, but these vary. In some industries, the span of ordinary work hours has also changed, requiring work on evenings, weekends and holidays. Have these changes affected where parents work? Charting 1981 to 2001 Census data, we found that fathers showed an overall decline as a proportion of employed men, with little difference among industries. Mothers also declined as a proportion of employed women, but with divergent industry trends. Retail showed a steep (7 per cent) drop in mothers, following the deregulation of shopping hours. By contrast, the industry with the most family-friendly conditions at the start of the study period (public service) increased its share of mothers by 6 percent.